Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told members of the Compton City Council that he would soon make public investigative findings in the shooting death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado, but said progress on the case was being slowed by people claiming on social media that they were eyewitnesses to the killing.
“And everyone who says that means that’s another potential witness that we have to interview,” Villanueva said by video link during a special council meeting Monday afternoon. The sheriff said those additional interviews would mean further delays before he could share security video and autopsy results in the case.
Guardado was shot to death June 18 near an auto body shop on Redondo Beach Boulevard by an LA County Sheriff’s Department deputy assigned to the Compton station.
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According to the Sheriff’s Department patrol deputies said they saw him talking to someone in a car that was blocking a driveway, and that Guardado had a gun when he saw deputies and began to run, leading to a chase and the shooting.
A deputy fired a half-dozen shots at Guardado, who was struck in the torso and died at the scene.
Family members and friends said Guardado worked as a security guard at a nearby auto body shop but the Sheriff’s Department has said he was too young to be licensed as a guard, wasn’t wearing a uniform, and had a loaded “ghost” gun that appeared to have been pieced together from different parts, lacked a serial number, and had a high-capacity magazine.
Investigators said they don’t believe Guardado fired the gun at deputies. Guardado’s family has denied the gun was his.
Family members and other Compton residents have held demonstrations and have demanded more information about the shooting. Last week the LA County Board of Supervisors called for an independent investigation.
The Supervisors unanimously approved a motion asking the sheriff to provide the county’s inspector general with “immediate and full access to all evidence requested in order to provide independent oversight.” The motion also called on the county counsel to report on alternative plans for an independent probe, including possible involvement by California’s attorney general.
Sheriff Villanueva says both the state attorney general and the FBI have agreed to monitor the investigation, which is still being handled by Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the homicide bureau.